Solly March's goal proved decisive but he survived a late scare as Brighton won at Aston Villa. Ezri Konsa cancelled out Danny Welbeck's opener but March put the visitors back in front and had a late penalty against him overturned by VAR.
Aston Villa started purposefully - pressing high and looking to probe for openings. They suffered an early injury blow though - Ross Barkley pulled his hamstring and was replaced by Bertrand Traore.
Brighton struck with their first real chance on the counter-attack. The hosts pushed too high up the field and Welbeck was able to latch onto Adam Lallana's ball before racing through on goal to clip it past Emi Martinez.
Both sides continued to create chances in an entertaining first half. Neal Maupay denied in a one-on-one by Martinez but the Seagulls needed some desperate defending at times to deny Villa an equaliser.
The hosts did draw level immediately after half-time on a set-piece. Konsa pulled free at the far-post to stab in Traore's fine delivery.
Brighton maintained their composure and continued to play their neat brand of possession football - which saw them regain the lead. Pascal Gross picked out a lovely pass for March who arrived to curl it in.
The visitors forced to play the final stages with ten men after Tariq Lamptey picked up two quickfire yellow cards and relieved when a late Villa penalty was overturned. March got a touch on the ball in his challenge with Trezeguet.
Aston Villa aggrieved with the late VAR decision but they had enough chances to get something from the game before that. Brighton for once the more clinical side and took their opportunities to claim an impressive win.